Library of the
University of North Carolina
Endowed by the Dialectic and Philan-
C ^t 4-. I -l^'llp
UNIVERSITY OF N.C, AT CHAPEL HILL
This book must not
be token from the
Form No. 471
A TRIBUTE OF LOVE
By courtesy of Mr. Edwiu L. Brown, Jr.,
of the Brown Book Company, Asheville, there
has come into our hands a neat little booklet
entitled "In Memory of Rev. Charles Wesley
Byrd, D. D.'' This is really a tribute of love,
"published as a memorial to their beloved pas-
tor by the members of Central Methodist
Church, Asheville, North Carolina." Thus it
is dedicated as the expression of that peculiar
love which only a congregation feels for a pas-
tor who has given long years of service in a
rich and helpful ministry. The little booklet
contains a tribute written by Eev. TT. L. Sher-
rill-^ giving the salient facts of his ministerial
life, together with a beautiful and discrimina-
ting estimate of his character as a minister and
leader. It contains also a reprint of the
prayers from the church bulletin as prepared
from week to week by Dr. B^^^d through sev-
eral months prior to his death.
As an expression of holy sentiment and 1 »f ty
emotion and desire these prayers have hardly
been excelled in all the rounds of sacred litera-
turo. Altogether, as the expression of a holy
Oevition on the part of the congregation which
enjoyed his ministry so much a:jcl vrho valued
him in his capacity as a great spiritual leader,
it is as the box of precious ointment in the
home at Bethany.
This book was not printed with any commer-
cial end in view, but simply as a memorial, yet
there are a few copies which may be had by
addressing the Brown Book Company, Ashe-
ville, N. C, inclosing 15 cents.
CENTRAL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH
flev. Gbarlce TS^eelci? B?r5, I>.X).
BULLETINS OF CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH
JUNE 10, 1917, TO JANUARY 13, 1918
REV. WILLIAM L. SHERRILL
SECRETARY OF WESTERN NORTH
I'UBLISHED AS A MEAIOklAt
To THEIR BELOVED PASTOR BY THE
MEMBERS OF CENTRAL METHODIST CHURCH
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
REV CHARLES WESLEY BYRD. D.D.
A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE
REV. CHARLES WESLEY BYRD, D.D,
BY WILLIAM L. SHERRTLL
WITH such abundant material at hand it is difficult
to compass within limited space the many noble
traits which enriched the character of the late
Rev. Charles Wesley Byrd, D.D., who served for so many
years as the pastor of Central Church.
He was bom on March 23rd, 185 8, in Harnett County,
N. C, son of J. A. and Caroline Byrd. In youth he
joined the Methodist Church, for he early learned to fear
the Lord. He was educated at Jonesboro High School,
the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt Uni-
versity. Then in December, 1882, at Raleigh, he was
admitted on trial into the North Carolina Conference and
has serv'ed the following charges :
1883— Scotland Neck.
1884-86— :\Iorehead City.
1887-89— First Church, Salisbur}^
1890— Hay Street, Favetteville.
1891-92— Central Church, Asheville.
1893— Presiding Elder, Shelbv District.
1894-96— Presiding Elder, Asheville District
1897-99— Central Church, Asheville.
1900 — Settle ^lemorial, Owensboro, Ky.
1901-04— First Church, Atlanta, Ga.
1905-06— St. John's, Augusta, Ga.
1907-10— West End, Nashville, Tenn.
1911-12— Central Church, Asheville.
1913-16— West Market Street, Greensboro.
1917-18— Central Church, Asheville.
During this long period he was Presiding Elder for
four years and Station Preacher for thirty-two years. His
field of activity was scattered over five annual Confer-
ences, viz : the North Carolina, Western North Carolina,
Louisville, North Georgia, and Tennessee, in which he
served in succession, many leading churches of the Con-
nection, distinguishing himself uniformly, as a con-
scientious pastor, an able minister of the Word, and a wise
and zealous leader of the hosts of Israel.
During his pastorate in Salisbury, he was married to
Miss Hattie Bobbitt, daughter of the late Rev. Dr. William
H. Bobbitt, of blessed memory, and he found in her a
stay and support during the remaining years of his pil-
grimage. She still survives, with the only son, William
Bobbitt Byrd, now in the service of his country, in the
Dr. Byrd had just entered hopefully upon the second
year of his fourth term as pastor of Central Church, seem-
ingly in usual health, when the New Year (1918) began.
He held the mid-week prayer service on Wednesday even-
ing, January the second, and then made a pastoral call
before returning to the parsonage. Before the morning
dawned^ however, he was mortally stricken, and in a few
hours his pure spirit was released to wing its flight to the
eternal home. His people were broken-hearted, not only
because "a mighty man and a Prince in Israel" had fallen,
but because the shepherd of the flock, one whom they loved
as a leader and leaned upon as a friend, had been suddenly
He departed as he ofen wished he might, in the midst
of active service, for he went literally from labor to re-
ward. The mortal body was lovingly laid to rest in the
bosom of the great mountains, in Riverside, near to the
people whom he loved and to whom he had ministered so
long and faithfully.
He possessed strong native intellect and took the full
advantage of splendid school opportunities, so that when
he came to the pastorate he was richly furnished in mind
and heart for his holy task.
The studious habits of his youth were continued to the
very end of his life, and his mental vigor increased with
the years, so that his wide and varied knowledge, stamped
him, in his latter days, as a man of very broad culture.
He was a brilliant man without vanity, a scholar without
pedantr}', a churchman without bigotry, a saint without
fanaticism, and so sincerely sympathetic that he held as
'"with hooks of steel'' the many friends of all classes and
conditions, whom he attracted by his gentle and magnetic
manner. His genuine warm-heartedness, his cheerful good
humor, his human-interest spirit, his thorough familiarity
with Biblical and all polite literature, joined with his
charming conversational gifts, made him a most com-
He had a rich Christian experience. "His conversa-
tion was in heaven.'' His words were verily seasoned with
salt, and he steadily grew in grace and in knowledge and
in capacity for usefulness to the ver\" last day of his life.
\Mth all his tenderness and smipathy for others he
also possessed a quality of courage which knew no fear
and a strength of endurance which conquered opposition.
He had deep and fixed convictions about everAthing
worthwhile. He never preached to please the multitude
and never fawned in the presence of power. He never
flinched or faltered when duty called, and all men knew
where to find him when moral standards were assailed.
He never sought position or looked with favor on any-
one who did, and all the honors which ever came to him
were but commands to take up tasks for which he was
"His life was gentle ; and the elements
So mixed in him, that nature might stand up
.\nd say to all the world : this is a man."
He loved his church and gave it his best service. He
was a true disciple of Wesley, and an able defender of the
doctrines of Arminianism, but withal he was so broad in
his s}Tnpathies and so tolerant of the faith of others, that
men of all communions were his friends.
He loved to preach and was a preacher whom the peo-
ple gladly heard, for he was not only a man of ripe scholar-
ship, but his heart overflowed with love for God and man.
Then, too, his rich vocabulary, his clear enunciation, his
keen spiritual perception, his vivid imagination, his fervid
eloquence and his logical presentation of the truth, all
crowned with a deep yearning for the lost, made him a
very powerful and popular preacher, and the Lord won-
derfully blessed his labors, as evidenced by the record that
in nearly every charge he served, the church was strength-
ened by substantial additions on profession of faith.
He not only loved to preach, but it was his joy to
assist his brethren in meetings, and while generally bur-
dened with the heavy duties of a city pastorate, he never
seemed too busy to aid a preacher in revival work in a
country church or struggling mission. Being warned a
little while ago that he was working too hard and that he
should conserve his strength for lengthened service, he re-
plied that an invitation to preach was a call to duty, and
however physically unfit he might feel, he hesitated to
refuse to obey what might be a command of the Spirit.
He did not do his work in perfunctory fashion, when he
preached he stood forth as the prophet of God with a full
consciousness of the terrible responsibility, and when he
visited a family, his aim was to leave a holy influence
behind him, and it was his rule to pray with his people.
Sometimes it was difficult to get the family together for
prayer, and usually when such was the case, he would
offer a brief parting petition with the company standing.
His pastoral visits were benedictions long to be remem-
bered by many who were under his watchful care.
His public prayers were scriptural in expression, trans-
parent in their simplicity, and uttered with such earnest-
ness of faith that worshippers forgot the sordid things of
the world and were lifted into a devout and serious frame.
He loved his brethren and was by them loved and
recognized as one of the wise leaders of the Conference.
They made him President of the Conference Historical
Society and of the Sunday School Board, and he was
honored as a delegate to the General Conference of 1894
and 1898, and at our recent session at Asheville was
elected to the forthcoming General Conference. He was
a Trustee of Vanderbilt University and of several of our
He loved his country and longed to go to the front to
minister to the soldiers, but on account of age and phy-
sical infirmity, it was not deemed expedient.
He loved the struggling young preachers, and his
kindly interest and tactful help was an inspiration and
strength to many of them who needed and longed for the
counsel and encouragement of older and wiser men.
He was loved by the people in all the charges which
he servTd, but he was best known and most loved by the
people of Central Church to whom he had ministered in
the Gospel as pastor and presiding elder for twelve years,
or one-third of the full period of his ministerial life.
This good man who so faithfully labored among us,
we feel sure, has safely entered through the gates into that
"city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker
"Servant of God, well done,
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fough, the victory won.
Enter thy ^Master's joy."
Charlotte, X.C., April 1, 1918.
REPRINT FROM CHURCH BULLETIN
JANUARY 6, 1918
THIS is a day of holy sorrow in Central Church. Our
man of God has gone home. Not with sackcloth
and ashes nor with emblems of dead hopes do we
mourn. We know where he has gone for he has shown us
the way. Hand in hand with his ^Master he walked the
shining road and entered the gates of the city whose maker
and builder is God.
At the battle's front he fell. And thus the good soldier
desired to go. Ofttimes he had asked that the end might
be like this — that his marching orders might come in one
clear call from the King.
We knew him well. His life lies like an open book
upon the altars of this city. So humble was he that few
knew the vast breadth of his scholarship nor of the honors
that his church and nation had heaped upon him. But
all knew him as the unwearied friend of the lowly, the
bearer of light to darkened windows, and the wise coun-
sellor of men who were treading in perilous ways. The
tears of bitterness flowing from stony griefs were sweet-
ened by his words of comfort and the undefiled joys of
life became radiant in his smile. Four times our pastor;
forever our friend; an influence for good as eternal as the
hills upon w^hich our city stands.
Little children stopped their play, boys and girls
walked in silence, strong men and w^omen laid down the
accustomed task and the old sat bv saddened firesides.
He pointed the way, took up his staff and started on. The
journey is now done and he awaits us There.
A mind unmarred by any littleness, a soul unblemished
by any stain, a character as up right as the walls of heaven,
a love — ah, there he was the strongest and best — a great
follower of his Great Leader.
Among the hills where he had so often seen the "trail-
ing garments of the Most High" he walked with "a God,
mighty to save and strong to deliver." Through blinding
tears of love and gratitude we follow on.
Hail and farewell, O Mighty Man of God.
REV. CHARLES WESLEY BYRD, D.D.
Sunday, June 10th, 1917
Lord, make this day with its opportunities of rest and
worship a day of great spiritual refreshment. Help us to
put aside our worldly cares and come to Thee with open
minds and receptive hearts so that we may go away from
our place of worship with clearer vision, deeper spiritual
insight, truer ideals of life, and renewed strength for the
performance of its duties. ^Minister comfort to burdened,
sorrowing hearts, pronoimce within us the sentence of
absolution that will bring peace to our anxious souls and
hear and answer the agonizing cr}- that goes up from all
hearts for a warrins: bleedinsr world.
Sunday, June 17th, 1917
Loving Father, Thy Providence has supplied the needs
of our bodies, and Thy grace has sustained our spirits
during the work and temptations of another week. We
are grateful to Thee for Thy love and care, but we need
Thy pardoning mercy for we have sinned against Thee in
more ways than we can recall. Have mercy upon us and
pardon our offenses. Make us increasingly sensitive to
the approaches of evil, that, turning away from it, we may
turn to Thee with deeper devotion, and ser^-e Thee with
more perfect loyalty. Make the sendees of Thy house
today useful to all who engage in worship with us. Let
Thy love and Fatherly solicitude move the hearts of the
unsaved, and lead Thy children to more perfect consecra-
tion to the Redeemer that has washed and saved us by
Sunday, June 24th, 1917
Lord, help us to realize the sacredness of this day, and
to enter upon the public worship in which we engage with
becoming reverence and with that expectant faith which
will fit us to receive the forgiveness of our sins, and that
bestowment of grace which we need for the duties that
await us in the coming days of this week. Endue Thy
ministers ever}^where with power that their preaching may
awaken sinners and comfort and strengthen Thy children
in all their toil and temptations.
Grant special blessings to the visitors among us today,
and make the worship of this hour an epoch in the life of
at least some of them.
Hear and answer the prayer that goes up from all our
hearts for our countr}^ in this awful crisis, for the church
of God that it may be increasingly loyal to Thee, and for
the world that is torn with strife and engaged in war.
Sunday, July 1st, 1917
Lord, we desire above all things to feel deeply our need
of Thee, and of the gifts that Thou alone canst bestow, for
Thou hast taught us that it is only those who hunger and
thirst after righteousness that shall be filled. Send Thy
spirit into our hearts to awaken in us a consciousness of
our incompleteness without Thine indwelling presence.
Come into our hearts, O Christ, and dwell there by faith
till through this vital union of our weakness with Thy
strength we, too, shall be strong: till by Thy transforming
power we shall be freed from sin and made pure in Iieart,
Christ-like in purpose, and Holy in all manner of con-
Sunday, July 8th, 1917
Search us, O Lord, and know us, and make us to know
ourselves this morning with that knowledge which will
produce in us a wholesome dissatisfaction with our spirit-
ual attainments; then lead us to the Source of all our
help. Give us that cheerful piety which will commend
our religion to all men. Let Thy special blessing be upon
the stranger in our midst. Bless and comfort the sick who
are in our city seeking health and help us this day, which
is set apart especially to the consideration of the Good
Samaritan ^lission, to do that which Thou wouldst have
us do. ]Make our worship today a season of great refresh-
ment and so order it that we who are accustomed to wor-
ship here together with visitors from other sections of our
countr}-, may be refreshed and brought close to Him who
alone can save from the temptations that are incident to
common life. Lead any unsaved one among us to sur-
render his life to Christ this morning. Amen.
Sunday, July 15 th, 1917
Our Father, in Thy love, compassion and long-
suffering, Thou hast borne with us another week. Thy sun
has shone upon us, Thy rain has fallen, and Thy bounties
have supplied all our needs. If there has been in any of
us a spirit of complaint and repining we pray that the
memor}' of Thy love and care may humble us and lead us
to repentance. Minister to us today great Spiritual bless-
ings, so that we may overflow all the week with Christ-like
love and helpfulness . ]May those who abide with us under
the same roof, and those who toil with us at the same task^
see in our faces the light of Thy countenance and hear in
our speech the ring of Thy voice.
Give wisdom, patience, and patriotism to all the people
of this our native land. Grant special blessings to those
who administer its laws. Let those who interpret them
have the help and guidance that Thou hast always given
to devout, God-fearing men in ever}- land. Put Thy hand
in a beneficent way into the Legislation that is now pend-
ing in the x\merican Congress. We know that Thy pres-
ence and power can be traced in the currents of human
histor}' as well as in the starry skies. Protect and defend
our Armies, and give them success against the enemies of
human liberty and the oppressors of helpless women and
Lay upon our hearts Thy quieting hand in these times
of anxiety and solicitude, and help us with confidence in
Thy wisdom and grace to go to our daily tasks with the
sweet assurance that Jesus Christ is still Head over all
things to the Church. Amen.
Sunday, July 22nd, 1917
Almighty God, Thou hast assured us again and again
that Thou art love, but we do not even know what that
means. We always feel our need of One greater and better
than the best of us, therefore we feel after Thee praying
for the manifestation of Thy presence. Our C17 has often
seemed to be in the darkness, but sometimes we have seen
Thy face, heard Thy voice, and felt Thy touch. Help us
to see Thee today in every blooming flower, and to hear
Thy voice in every whispering breeze. Thy sanctuary is
well known to all of us, but oh! how seldom we enter it.
Thou art in the Christ and the Cross of His Redemption
is ever accessible to us. To Him we turn our eager eyes
today, and our hearts are filled with expectation. Surely
Thou wilt not disappoint our look of trust, for the prayer
of the simple has always reached Thy heart. Our plea is
for pardon, our cr}' is, "O God, be merciful unto me, a
sinner," and forgive us our transgressions and cleanse us
from our sins. To this appeal, if made in penitence and
sincerity, Thou hast only one reply; and may we be made
to rejoice in a pardoning God. We know Thy mercy, and
realize that there are tears in the very eyes of Thy judg-
ment. We come not to Thy judgment this morning, but to
Thy mercy and Thy compassion. We desire to stand be-
fore the cross of the Saviour rather than before the throne
of the Judge. We plead the mysterious blood and the
wondrous sacrifice which no man can explain but which
we all can feel, and which touches our hearts and awakens
our love. Let none of us depart from this place without a
blessing, but may the bounty of Thy house satisfy our
hungr}' souls and may we go to our toils and temptations
with the consciousness of Thy companionship and help.
Sunday, July 29th, 1917
We realize, O Father, that great and incomprehensible
as Thou art Thou dost desire to hold fellowship with us,
and to know that our hearts respond to that desire. It is
a great thing to feel that there is something in us that Thou
dost deem worthy to work along with Thee. Our sendee
has no strength in it but Thou dost accept our desires to
be strong. Thou knowest the impotence of our best efforts
but Thou art always saying to us "Will thou be made
whole?'' Lord help us this morning in our worship to
yield the one peculiar gift with which Thou hast endowed
Us a willingness to be. If we are so earth-bound that we
cannot work with Thee let us, at heart, wish with Thee.
As we sit in Thy house today may our imaginations take
wings and bring to us great etilaying and uplifting dreams
for what we would do if we were only free. Help us here,
in this holy place to plan for the race that is before us when
we shall no longer linger in impotence and despair about
the porch of Bethsaida. Show us the road of beneficence in
which we have never walked, and let Thy Spirit point our
hearts to those labors of love which Thou art waiting to
enable us to perform. Kindle in us the desire, and accept
it till such time as we shall perform the deed. Infold in
us the beautiful fragrant flower of noble desire and cherish
that flower till the fruit matures. Lord write in Thy book
of remembrance that there waits before Thee today a con-
gregation that desires to be made whole. Amen.
Sunday, August 5th, 1917
Almight}' God, by love alone we can know Thee. Help
us to send out our hearts after Thee and to come back with
them all aglow with Thy Grace and pulsating with Thy
life. The world to us has proven a great emptiness, its
cup has been unsatisfying in the hour of our supreme need.
But in Christ we have found the Bread for which we
hunger and the Water for which we thirst. He is the cen-
ter of our security and the Source of our peace. We open
our hearts to Him today that He may restore and complete
our fellowship with God. We listen for the voices that
are grand with the music of the time in which we have
been lifted to the Mount of Transfiguration — voices that
are tremulous with answers to our present needs. Make
us willing to ser\T, patient to endure, alert to reach out a
helping hand to the helpless, the sick and the tempted.
^lany among us are filled with sorrow and pain, some
have been chilled with strange bereavement, and many are
anxious for loved ones who are called to places of danger
and death in the service of our country. Comfort such
souls and make their sorrows the roots of an enduring joy.
Sunday, August 12th, 1917
Loving Father, how shall we approach Thee today?
We are deeply conscious that we dare not rely on our own
merit, for we have been absorbed, during the week, in tasks
that w^re sordid, in thoughts in which Thou hast had no
place and we have been caught in the grip of material
interests that have kept us back from the pursuit of Spirit-
ual Ideals and the maintenance of fellowship with Thee.
We are here to seek Thy pardon and to pray for that purity
which will enable us to see Thee and that power which
will fit us for the tasks before us and that wisdom that will
direct us in all our duties. Make Thy word a source of
comfort to Thy people today and clothe it with power to
convert sinners and lead them into the Kingdom of God.
Lay Thy loving hand upon the hearts of the vast numbers
of young men that are being called to the colors of our
country at this season. Help the church to successfully
point them to Christ and lead them to enlist in the highest
service before they go to the fields of conflict. Comfort
the hearts of their kindred and friends from whom they
must be separated in the service to which they are called.
Give them courage to fight like heroes and crown with
success their efforts to overthrow autocracy, militarism,
and oppression. Let their lives be precious in Thy sight
and save by Thy Grace those who shall fall on the field
of conflict and those who are to return to their homes.
SuxDAY, August 19th, 1917
Almighty God, we would listen to the voice divine this
morning and turn a deaf ear to all others. The varied
music of other voices assail our ears; but may we detect
in them the hollowness, the selfishness and the worldliness
with which they are filled, and may our spiritual hunger
and thirst cause us to turn to Him who said. "T am the
bread of life, I am the water of life."" Thy goodness has
preser^'ed us. and Thy tender compassion has kept us.
Thy love stooped to save us. Thy Son came to show us
the vv'ay back to Thee and today we are the objects of Thy
mercy. If Thy blessings are continued to us we shall
never die. Help us to see Thy image in man, and then
shall we know that we are indeed the temple of the Holy
Ghost, and we shall welcome Him into our inner man and
be sanctified and enlightened by His presence. We desire
to carr\- the battle of life to triumph, but we can do this
only through Th}- pity and Thy love. I\Iay our medita-
tions of Thee be sweet in Thy house today. We need Thee
at all times, on the mountain top where the sun shines, and
in the deep valley where all is dark. We need Thee in
the heat of Summer and the cold of Winter. ]\Iay Thy
hand lead us through life's stress and storm and tempta-
tion, till we reach the peace, the joy, and the security of
SuxDAY, August 26th, 1917
Loving Father, we need Thy help this morning more
than usual. We have allowed worldly cares and secular
interests to dominate us until we are not in the mood that
ought to characterize us when we come into Thy house or
undertake to engage in our accustomed worship. Forgive
our sins and breatlie into our hearts a spirit of worship
and true devotion.
We have not been suitably aft'ected by the tragedies
that are4)eing enacted in the world in which we live. They
have not touched us in a very real way up to this time, but
we know that we ought not to wait till our own homes are
draped in mourning till we awake to the awfulness of the
things that are transpiring, God be merciful to us as
individuals, visit us as families with Thy grace and saving
power and look with favor upon the land in which we live.
Spare our young men and forbid that they shall die upon
the field of battle if it is possible that honorable, righteous
and enduring peace can be restored to the world without
this sacrifice; but while we make this plea we are deeply
conscious that there are things worse than war and death,
and if we know our own hearts we would lay on the altar
of human liberty the fairest and best that we have if by
doing so we can make our contribution to the peace that
must ultimately come. Pour out Thy Spirit upon our
soldiers, save them from sin, give them the courage of
noble men and prepare them in heart and mind for all the
events of Thy Providence. Amen.
Sunday, September 2nd, 1917
Almighty God, our Father and our Saviour, we come
to Thee empty-handed this morning. The cisterns that
we have hewn out for ourselves are empty too, for they can
hold no water. It has been difficult for us to learn this
truth, but we know^ it now. There is no help for the
individual, the state or nation, but in God. Our Wisdom
has turned out to be folly, our state-craft has proven futile
in the banishment of sin and wretchedness from society.
Our diplomacy has failed to establish peace and maintain
international comity. In our extremity we come to Thee
renouncing our various inventions, and conscious of a great
aggravated wickedness, we cast ourselves, just as we are,
upon the work of the Lord Jesus Christ uttering, each for
himself, the prayer of the penitent publican, "God be
merciful to me a sinner." To this prayer, if offered in
sincerity, there can be but one answer. We are sure that
Thou wilt bestow Thy pardon and Thy love and take us
back into Thy service, bending down Thine ear to listen
to Thy praises. We would give ourselves to Thy work
with the zeal of genuine saints and with an expression of
our love, by doing Thy will with earnestness, simplicity,
and Christian fidelity. Oh I how heavy are the burdens
that we must bear! Help us to bear them. Our necessi-
ties are more than we can enumerate. Supply them from
Thy bounty. Lift our eyes up from the earth in which
they grope for what this world can never supply and turn
them into a constant prayer that will bring blessings from
the all-hospitable heavens. Many hearts are cast down
by ever-recurring distress. Lord, give comfort to these
burdened hearts. Help those who are about to despair,
and appear to them as a shining light, and let them turn
again to their tasks with fresh courage and renewed
strength. Be with us in our business, and save us amid
our temptations. Our pathway is beset with sins and
snares. We cannot go safely unless Thou wilt hold our
hand and direct our steps till the journey is ended and we
enter into Thv rest — the life eternal. Amen.
Sunday, September 9th, 1917
Our Father, we want to be true Disciples of Jesus
Christ, and learn with fidelity the lessons He teaches us.
Help us to fix our eyes on the goal He has set for us. We
know that He alone can reveal to us the true ideal. There
is much pain and sufi'ering in this world, and we must
bear our part of them, but when Thy will points to the
path that is crowded with thorns, help us to realize that it
is only because flowers grow farther on. We would not
shrink from sacrifice if it is necessary' to cleanse Thy tem-
ple. When sorrows come let us know that they are a part
of Thy great plan to smooth the path of those who are to
come after us. If we are called to walk in the road that
leads to the poverty of the Clanger help us to carry with
us treasures richer than those ofi'ered by the wise men of
old. Some times conditions drive slumber from our eyes
and we are forced to keep watch in the night. At such
times give us ears to hear with the Bethlehem Shepherds
the Angels' song. When we are called to bathe in the chilly
waters of the Jordan may we see over the head the open
Heavens and hear the Spirit's voice. There is no sacrifice
that is too great for us to make if we can only realize that
it is to prove a ministry of love that will issue in nobler,
purer, sweeter life for succeeding generations. The yoke
is indeed easy, and Thy burden is light when we are filled
with the joy that Thou dost open up in the hearts of those
who love Thee.
We offer our prayer this morning for all men, but we
make special intercession for those who have responded to
the call of our Country in these trying days and are sub-
jected to the hardships, temptations, and dangers of a
soldier's life. Amen.
Sunday, September 16 th, 1917
Almighty God, help us to enter into Thy courts with
praise for Thy great benefits, and into the secret place of
Thy dwelling with a vision that has been made clear by
Thy Spirit, so that we may behold Thy glory and get the
inspiration of a great, new ambition, even the ambition to
see Thee with hearts that have been purified, to love Thee
with ever deepening love, to read Thy truth with clearer
understanding, and to fulfil Thy purpose in all the ac-
tivities of our daily life. Out in the work-day world we
have been stung by pain, exhausted by toil, maddened by
hunger, and overwhelmed with disappointment. These
experiences drive us back to our Father's house, and we
look up into Thy face and plead with Thee to abate the
agony of our pain, to rehabilitate our exhausted energies,
to appease our hunger with the bread of life, and to lift us
up from the overwhelming burden of our disappointment.
Let us hear from the voice of Thine own Spirit the answer
of redemption rather than of judgment. Help us to take
heart from the fact that tomorrow will come with new
chances, new opportunities, and new openings into clearer
light, nobler liberty, and higher service.
Breathe into our souls the noble charity of Christ's
own Spirit, and then we shall forgive our enemies, return
good for evil and be filled with that abounding charity
which is the highest manifestation of religion. Amen.
SuxDAY, September 23rd, 1917
O God, our Father, we have once more turned our
steps to this place of worship. We pray Thee to help us
to lift this coming together above a mere conformity to
custom. Let the preacher's sermon be a message of
strength and inspiration from Thee. Let the h}Tnns and
prayers bring us into Thy ver}- presence, and make the
service of the house today more than an intellectual and
aesthetic delight to all who gather here. We need to see
Thy face and hear Thy voice, that we may go out from
this place v\-ith renewed religious enthusiasm and fresh
inspiration. Bless and sanctify all Thine appointed agen-
cies to this end. We know that Thou art ready to forgive
our sins, but we want to hear the voice of Thy Spirit pro-
nounce the sentence of absolution which no earthly priest
can utter, however devoted and consecrated to Thy ser\'ice.
Bless the homes in which we live and the families of
which we constitute a part. Help us to be loving parents
;and obedient children. May our love be like Thine. O
Father I and may our obedience be like that which Thy
Son rendered to Thee. Open our ears to hear the call of
the Spirit to return to Thy service if we have gone astray.
Confirm in us our purpose to achieve high character and
live unselfish lives. Fit us by Thy grace for the place we
must occupy in the church and in the state.
Continue, we pray Thee, to exalt our national ideals
■and help those who are called to official positions to formu-
late them with clearness, force and precision, so that they
may kindle in the hearts of our people a spirit of pure
patriotism and sane solicitude for the peace and pros-
perity not only of our o^^m country but of all the world.
Protect and defend our soldiers from the innumerable
dangers, moral and physical, that are incident to their
tailing. Help them to lead clean manly lives, and bring
back to their homes better and stronger men than when
they went away; for we dare to ask that the discipline of
war may purify and exalt the whole nation. Amen.
Sunday, September 30th, 1917
O God, our Father, Thy love has been extended to US
day by day during another week, and we are here today
waiting for the touch of Thy hand. We know that Thou
dost look upon us in our sin and helplessness with a great
yearning compassion. We have had our nights of weep-
ing, but our tears have banished with the morning and
Thou hast come to us with renewed tenderness and gentle
ministr\^, so that our nights of weeping have proven the
beginning of a better and brighter time. For all this we
render to Thee hearty thanks, and with penitent hearts we
plead for pardon — the pardon that comes to us through the
suffering and intercession of Thy Son, our Saviour.
Let Thy blessings and benefits, and especially the
blessing of pardon fill, at least for a season, the whole
horizon of our life, shutting out every^ other consideration
and destroying the light of every other attraction.
Abide with us, loving Father, and Divine Son, and save
us from the awful tragedy of sin which we are prone to
renew with every sunrise, and which we mourn with bitter-
ness ever}' sunset. Let the time speedily pass when we
shall be bound by these fetters, and let the morning of our*
complete deliverance break upon us, when our hearts shall
be pure enough to see Thee, when we shall rise in the
nobleness of moral freedom, and when we shall be radiant
with the Spiritual illumination which is caught from un-
broken fellowship with the Sun of Righteousness.
Remember in great mercy our sick ones at home, soothe
and comfort the old man dying, fill with comfort the young'
mother pining, put Thy strong protecting arms about the
little child that he may be safe and in due time come to
positions of high service and noble consecration. Seek out
by Thy Spirit the Prodigal out of our reach, so far away
in the far countr}' that he is beyond the range of every good
influence save the far-reaching mercy of Thy love. Take
under Thy constant, loving care our soldiers and sailors
and let Thy mercy go out with them and Thy blessing fall
upon them according to their need.
Bless the land we love, give wisdom to all our executive
officers and legislators, and teach our judges wisdom and
mercy. Prosper the honest endeavors of all business men
and laborers, and let them eat the bread of plentifulness
with clean hearts and unstained hands.
Some of us see the shadows of the evening of life
lengthen. Tomorrow we shall be gone. ]May our going
be to the radiant country, the verdant land, the sweet para-
dise, the unending summer. Amen.
SuxDAY, October 7th, 1917
O Lord, our Saviour and Friend, Thou didst enter into
our experiences and we desire to enter into Thine. We
know that Thou didst become a partaker of our nature and
subject Thyself to supreme human suffering that Thou
mightest sympathize with us. We cannot s}Tnpathize with
Thee without living Thy life. We must partake of Thy
sorrows if we would understand them so that they may
move our hearts and transform our lives. And while we
stand awed and shrinking at the gates of Thy Gethsemane,
help us to enter in and leam its meaning. We have not
felt the pain of the world's sin as Thou didst in the Gar-
den, and therefore we have tolerated and condoned it in
our lives and in the lives of others. Lord, make each one
of us to feel its horror, and then we shall not, like the
Disciples, sleep away the hour of privilege and come to
our great trial unprepared. We would enter into Thy
Galilee with all its wonderful experience of joy and
triumph as well as of pain and disappointment, but in
order to enter into Thy Galilee we must go with Thee
through Thy Samaria where we shall leam something of
Thy weariness, thirst and hunger. Help us to wait at the
well this morning and then shall we be able to blend our
griefs with Thine, and experience that great compassion
for sinners that called fonh Thy wonderful words to the
woman of Sychar. We plead this day, and ever}' day, that
we may do Thy work with efficiency, suffer Thy will with
patience, and learn tc know the real significance of that
atoning sacrifice which is found at the heart of all Thy
words and works. Amen!
Sunday, October 14th, 1917
Almighty God, we dare to besiege Thine ear \vith un-
ceasing prayer, for our wants never end, and when Thou
hast granted our request for today we are still unsatisfied,
and experience the joyous pain of Spiritual hunger, and
the welcome, grateful fire of Spiritual thirst. We pray
that this hunger may bring us again to the bread of a
Father's table and that our thirst may drive us to the rivef
of God. We do not seek satisfaction for that would prove
an insuperable barrier to progress. We pray for deliver-^
ance from dissatisfaction, for that would paralyze our
eft'orts. But we do welcome the state of being unsatisfied
for that will stimulate our longing to be more Christly in
character, more active in ser^'ice, and more devout in wor-
ship. We want to experience a continued growth of our
soul's life, an unceasing expansion of our Spiritual ca-
pacity, a perpetual yearning after the boundless and un-
attainable, while Thou dost minister to us according to
our necessity, capacity and aspiration.
We oft'er to Thee humble praise for all Thy tender
mercies and loving kindness. Receive these praises. Thou
art above and beyond our song even as the light is far
beyond the birds which sing in its luster. We dare not
restrain our song, feeble and halting though it be, for we
feel that Thy mercy will respond to it and kindle the glow'
of Thy love in our cold, unfeeling hearts.
Thou knowest our need. Thou seest our hands hang'
down in impotence, our heads confused with bewilderment,
and our hearts burning with unsatisfied longing. We are-
conscious of our poverty and sin, and we trust that we are
really penitent. Thy grace has richly provided for all our
sad conditions, and we know that the blackness of our life
is still amenable to the blood of Christ. Day by day we
grow older. May we become better. We have written so
little of real significance upon the flying days, and for
some of us our opportunities of usefulness will soon be
gone. Help us to rise and work while it is called today,
and ere the sun goes down may we do something that will
proclaim a high purpose and a noble resolve. Amen!
Sunday, October 21st, 1917
Almighty Father, we approach Thee in the name of
Him, through whoin alone we may hope to find access to
Thy mercy and Grace. For our sins and shortcomings we
lead His merit, making mention of no good thing that we
ave done or attempted to do, for we know that our best
deeds desen-e nothing at Thy hands. We live because Thy
compassion never fails. Thy pity alone can explain the
continuance of our days, and the yearning love of Thy
great heart calls forth our praises. We wish to make our
very breathing a song of praise for Thy care and love and
our lives a perpetual sacrifice unto Thee.
Thou hast declared Thy counsels concerning us in the
simple and tender words of Thy gospel. May these loving
counsels of Thine find a willing, ready response in our
hearts and in our activities. The passion of our thank-
fulness is great and we come into Thy court with loud,
sweet songs that well up from hearts fired with love and
gratitude. We would lift these songs high above the winds
of passion and strife that rage about us and within us.
We make our best eft'ort to put Ourselves and all that
is dear to us in Thy hands, saying "send us what seemeth
best in Thy sight." If the light fall upon us from Thine
own face we will welcome it and greatly rejoice, but if it
be Thy will that great darkness should, for a time, make
our way fearful we will not murmur, but wait patiently
for the coming for the promised day. Only let Thy Holy
Spirit abide with us and keep us, and there will be light
within and Heaven's o^\ti Calm will fill our souls.
Help us all to do our work with both hands diligently.
Establish us in righteousness and fill us with the expecta-
tion of a faith that will never sink into despair. Thwart
all the counsels of the wicked in church, state and nation,
knd bring to naught all their deliberations of malice,
hatred and revenge. Have compassion on our enemies
whether personal or National, and help us to rise above
all temptations of littleness, meanness, envy and hatred.
Our ever-darkening guilt calls for the constant application
of the blood of Jesus Christ and for a never-failing Vision
of His cross lifted above the clouds. Amen!
Sunday, October 28th, 1917
Loving leather, we come to Thee once more with 0111*
praise and thanksgiving for what Thou hast done for uS.
All our blessings have come from Thee and we desire to
trust all to Thee. We can never hope to understand the
mystery of our being with all its varied experiences, but in
our seasons of agony and pain we catch glimpses of the
greatness of Thy purpose in causing us to pass through
fiery trials. In times like these may our vision be cleared
so that we can still trace Thy hand in all that is trans-
piring in this bleeding, agonizing world. Thou art con-
stantly opening up to us ever enlarging spheres of service
and sacrifice. We know that this means great glory and
honor if we have the courage and consecration to enter in
and do the work and make the sacrifice to which Thou
dost call Us. We are all Thy children, and Thou knowest
our whole story. We know that we shall not be left with-
out a friend for Thy name is Love. We sometimes wonder
why we are here, but when we experience the mystery of
the patience which Thou hast sometimes wrough within
us, we are content to abide in our little spheres, saying,
"Not my will, but Thine be done."
Lord, Thou hast bestowed upon us, as a nation, multi-
tudinous wealth. Help us to use it for Thy glory. We
realize that our wonderful resources and our great accu-
mulations have betrayed us, as a people, into great self-
indulgence and into habits of luxuriousness, that have
been sapping bur manhood and destroying our morality.
We face condilions today in our National and individual
life that bring to us a great opportunity to rehabilitate by
sacrifice and sen'ice the physical, moral, and spiritual
manhood of the Nation. Help us to see our opportunity,
give to us dreams that are inspired, and flash upon us
visions that gleam in the light of Thy countenance. We
dare not sink into despair, but in the strength that Thou
alone canst impart we would gird ourselves for the conflict,
for it is worth while to fight all the battle and endure all
sorrow, that at the end we may feel the peacefulness of
peace and the restfulness of rest. We oft'er all our praise
and prayer in Christ's name. Amen.
SuxDAY, November 4th, 1917
Lord, in the course of Thine earthly ministry Thoii
didst experience the depression and disappointment of
faded hope. We are glad that Thou didst enter into this
experience too; for this is an ever-reciirring experience of
olir own lives. And withered hopes are worse than
withered flowers, for withered flowers have fulfilled their
mission, and drop away in the natural course of nature,
but hope's fulfilment has never come. Our ideal dreams
have faded from our vision and left us in depression and
deep bereavement. It cheers us to know that Thou hast
shown us the crossing of this river too. Great indeed would
have been the blank if Thy thoughtfulness and care had
failed us here. Thou wast tempted in all things and Thou
didst not forget to enter into those innumerable tempta-
tions of our withered dreams. Blighted hopes for our-
selves, our children and our friends are no Unfamiliai*
experience to the most successful of us. Let the memory
that Thy blighted hopes did not wither Thy heart, cheer
us and enable us to keep our hearts fresh and green. As
we contemplate the fading of Thy hope ours is enlarged,
for we learn that the moment Of disappointment may be a
Divine moment fraught with highest interests and con-
training the inspirations of noblest ideals.
We make intercession this morning for the sick and
sorrowing ever^-^vhere, for our countr}% with all the dan-
gers that threaten it, for our President and all officials
both high and low, that they may have the guidance of
Thy Spirit, the courage that springs from a lofty idealism
and the hope that is bom of faith in God. Remembei*
especially, in great mercy and tenderness, our sons and
daughters that are enlisted in the dreadful war into which
our country has been drawn. Hasten the coming of honor-
able peace, defeat, if it be Thy will, all the purposes and
plans of oUr enemy and give Us success in Our efforts to
achieve victory for the ideals that we believe are in har-
mony with the will of God.
Pour out Thy Spirit in rich abundance upon the
Church of God, make its membership humble in heart,
Christly in character, and holy in all manner of conversa-
Sunday, November 11 Tit, 1917
Lord, we are gathered in Thy house today and are ask^
ing the question, "What are we here for?'^ The answer
that comes is, "To be fitted for a place in the ranks of
Thine army." We crave for ourselves Thy best robe, be-
cause we know that it is the soldiers' robe. We need a
true Military spirit — the spirit that banishes fear. That
spirit is the spirit of love, and it alone can fit us for our
seasons of waiting. Lord, it is the silence and not the con-
flict which makes us tremble with fear. We have some-
times thought that if we could be freed from the allure^
inents of the World and escape its scenes of temptations,
we might dispense with the soldiers' garb, but when we
have tried it we have still felt the need of our armor; for
the scene of the most trying temptation is within us, and
we have fought our bitterest battles in the silent field of
our inner nature. It is when we stand face to face with
self that we most need Thy grace and power. The ap-
plause of the multitude oftentimes makes sacrifice easy,
but when the multitude is gone, when the spectators have
withdrawn, and we see no banners and hear no trumpets,
but are alone, then it is that we need the armor of God.
W'hen in the darkness We are alone with our own erring
souls, we need the armor that can withstand the great
battle where there fights but one. The sword is for our
seasons of solitude, the spear is for life's great silences, the
helmet is for the hours that we are called to spend in the
hermitage. We need quickening for our periods of silence,
we must be fortified for the fireside, strengthened for the
study and inspired for the inland calm as well as for the
storm-tossed main. Clothe us with Thy might, lead us
with Thine own hand, and save us in Thy kingdom for
Christ's sake. Amen.
Sunday, November ISth, 1917
Lord, we would approach Thee this morning filled with
the sense of our great need, seeking the golden gate into
that perfection for which our hearts are hungn^ Some-
times we have dared to think of our own virtues and to
imagine that we had some light of our own but this has
been when we have compared ourselves with others like
us. When we have stood in the dazzling light of the Sun
of Righteousness our little flickering candle has been
eclipsed and become invisible. At seasons like this, de-
pression has thrown its shadow over us, and we have wept
because of our imperfections, but our weeping has been a
glorious weeping and our tears have turned out to be happy
tears, for they have had in them the rainbow of higher
hopes and worthier aspirations. Lord consume our self-
complacency with the fire of Thy judgment, and while w^e
stand dumb before the whiteness of Thy holiness, help us
to rejoice that our little torch is extinguished by Thy glor}%
and that our faded colors are exposed by the light of a
love that encompasses us with its beneficent atmosphere.
Speak to us this morning by the voice of Thy spirit and
we shall be strengthened for the conflict that is before us.
Gird us with Thy power and we shall enter into the battle
that we must fight with the confidence and courage that
will bring victory over all the foes of our spiritual nature.
Let the experience that shall come to us this day be such
as shall leave upon our characters a permanent impression
of holiness. Set us apart afresh for service and sacrifice
that those of us whom Thou hast called into the sacred
office of the Ministry may go away from this place con-
scious of quickened energy and renewed powers. May the
experiences through w^hich we are passing as a nation
purify our social life, deepen our spirituality and cause us
to rely more firmly upon Thy grace and power. Amen.
Sunday, November 25th, 1917
Almighty God, we call this Thy day, we are here to
study Thy book, and to bow in homage and expectation at
Thy altar. We sing to Thee with our tongues and speak
to Thee with our lips, but in the hidden places of our
heart there are desires that can never find expression in
either song or prayer. But, Lord, Thou canst hear even
our unuttered desires. We feel the burden of our guilt and
the sting of that remorse that would render life intolerable
but for the expectation that Thy spirit inspires within
us — the expectation that we shall be more than satisfied
by the rich provisions that Thou hast made for us in the
cross. Thy mercy has been tender and Thy kindness con-
stant and loving. We lift up our hearts and voices in
praise to Thee for them. We can never understand the
mystery of Thy power by which we have been brought into
being, nor can we fathom the mystery of Thy providence
by which we have been preserved; and the mystery of Thy
grace by which we are being saved is infinitely beyond our
comprehension. We can neither understand the present,
passing, dying moment, nor can we forecast the future, but
we know Thee and are willing to leave ourselves in Thy
hands, for Thou hast gathered the lambs of Thy flock in
Thy arms and hast led the flock up the steep places and
caused Thy loved ones to lie down in green pastures.
Thou hast opened up wells for us even in the wilderness
and caused the stars to shine upon us in the darkness.
We find ourselves in great perplexity, and we some-
times stare through blinding tears into an unknown future,
but our very tears are intended to clear our vision and
enable us to see the hidden beaut}- of Thy movement and
the sacred grandeur of Thy purpose. Knowing this, we
would rest in Thee. O God, and wait patiently for the re-
ward that Thou hast in store for them that trust Thee.
Make us to realize how swiftly and silently the years
are stealing away, and how rapidly some of us are coming
to responsibilit}-, some to maturity, and others to old age.
So teach us to number our days that we may apply our
hearts unto wisdom.
Forgive our sins, we pray, in the name of the one Life,
the one Death, tlie one Blood, the one Priesthood of our
Lord and Saviour Tesus Christ. Amen.
Sunday. December 2xd. 1917
Gracious Father, vs-e need Thee today and ever}- day,
but this is the day set apan for our moral and spiritual
education, because it is the day set apart for the reading
of Thy vrord and the offering of prayers at a throne of
grace. We desire to come to Thee in a spirit of penitence
and humilit}-. In the estimate that we have set upon our-
selves we have often pitched our tents dangerously close to
the Pharisee, we dare not claim an}-thing for ourselves.
Humility knows not that it is humble, and only the egotist
thinks of his ovm spiritual attainments. The good man
is unconscious of his goodness as is the rose of its per-
fume. Lord, we yearn for unconscious goodness, for we
know that this alone can commend us to Thee.
\^'e want to know that we love Thee, O Christ, but only
as we know that we love those that are dear to us here and
for whom sacrifice and ser\-ice are the joy of life. When
we think we are good we may be worse than the drunkards
and harlots as were the Pharisees in the days of our Sa-
\4our's earthly ministr}-. Help us to not only remember
the tender vrords of Christ but may we also dwell upon His
terrible words. Teach us the subtlet}- of our temptations.
Save us from the deadly sin of self-righteousness. As we
approach Thy table today help us to approach it in peni-
tence lest there come to us a rude awakening when Christ
shall say, "I never knew you." When the man of the
streets tells us that we are no better than our rude, un-
cultured neighbor from the slums may we ponder his mes-
sage, for though unordained is language, plain as that of
John the Baptist may have in it the sting and boldness of
that great prophet.
Let us be suitably affected by the teachings of Christ
on the subject of sin and may our hearts break as we medi-
tate upon His word. Then shall we be prepared to hear
His tender appeal and His gracious invitation. We would
do Thy will so that we may know Thy truth and enter into
fellowship with Thee.
Remember, protect and purify our sons that bear arms
in the war in which we are engaged. Turn their thoughts
to Christ and save them in the midst of the temptations
through which they are passing. Forget not Thy church
but purify it, exhalt it, and intensify its influence for
Christ's sake. Amen.
Sunday, December 9th, 1917
Almighty God, we belong to Thee, for Thou hast cre-
ated us by Thy power and preserved us by Thy provi-
dences, but Thy sovereign right to us has not always won
our love and led us to a full recognition of Thy rightful
claims, but when we have rebelled against Thy will and
resisted Thy authority. Thou hast condescended to give us
such a manifestation of Thy love and solitude through the
mercy and grace secured to us through the gift of Thy Son
that the very contemplation of it moves us to respond to
the silent appeals of Thy spirit for service and sacrifice.
So we come this morning moved by no external constraint,
but impelled by that love which makes us long to give our-
selves to Thee in a service that has in it no element of
slavery, but which is the exercise of the highest and sweetest
liberty. We pray for a deep realization of that possession
of us which will fill us with a desire to consecrate all our
capacities and powers to Thee, and cause us to realize the
richness of our inheritance of high fellowship, perfect
safety, inestimable treasures of grace, and immortal life
that are involved in the mutual indwelling of Christ in us
and us in Christ.
Give wisdom and guidance to the President of the Na-
tion. Help him to cling with ever-deepening devotion to
the lofty principles of generosity and justice that he has
just proclaimed in his message to our National Legislature,
to which are committed the interests of a great nation that
Thou hast so abundantly blessed, but which, in Thy provi-
dence, is called upon to make great sacrifices of blood and
treasure for the maintenance of these principles.
Help us to trust in Thee, and so consecrate ourselves
to Thee as a Nation, that Thou wilt continue to spread
above us Thy protecting care, give success to our armies,
shield our soldiers from harm and danger, and shape
them, by the discipline through which they are passing,
into men of moral strength and spiritual power.
Comfort and strengthen the hearts of those families
whose sons and loved ones have been called into the ser-
vice of their country. Find Thy way into the homes and
hearts of those who sit under the shadow of bereavement,
and minister to such the comfort and consolation which
the kindest and the most considerate of human friends can
^Nlake the services of Thy house this morning especi-
ally helpful and refreshing to the wear}' anxious spirits
that are here to be fed. To this end bestow a blessing of
power and spiritual perception upon him who shall preach
the word today. Amen.
Sunday, December 16th, 1917
Almighty Father, we have hewn us out cisterns but
they hold no water. And our efforts at independence have
been sad indeed, and our dependence upon man has been
as disappointing as our self-dependence, and we are re-
motely conscious, at least, that there is no help for us,
either as individuals, or as a nation, but in the living God,
the loving Saviour. We want to surrender to Thee, and
we do here and now renounce the various inventions on
which we have dared to rely, and come to Thee empty-
handed, feeling our burden of sin, conscious of our aggra-
vated wickedness, and cast ourselves upon the atoning
merits of Jesus Christ.
When we have done this heretofore we have found Thee
ready to pardon, and when we have said each for himself,
*'God be merciful unto me a sinner," Thy answer has al-
ways been an answer of love.
When we have grieved Thee and felt ashamed to ap-
proach Thy throne of grace Thou hast brought us back to
Thy side, and w^e have dared to take part in Thy praise
and to become active once more in Thy sersdce. Lord, we
are tired of sin this morning. It has never satisfied the
longings of our hungry hearts, so with earnestness, sim-
plicity and humble trust would we gird ourselves for the
work that lies before us, and with burning zeal, constant
love, and unwavering faith, would we do Thy will. The
necessities of life are indeed great and as numerous as the
moments but Thou canst supply them all. We lift up our
life which is a great cr}'ing want to the all-hospitable
heaven till it shapes itself into a great appealing prayer.
We refuse longer to grope on earth for that which earth
can never supply. We have our burdens and shall con-
tinue to have them, no doubt, but we shall forget them as
we experience that increase of strength which Thy spirit
waits to supply. Cast our sins behind Thee, make duty a
great delight, and life a glowing sacrifice. Guide the per-
plexed, sooth those who are worn out by daily distress,
save the despairing who think that they have knocked at
every door, and shed upon them that glorious light which
will reveal to them Thy great deliverance. Guide us in
our business and help us to realize that Thy loving hand
is upon us everv' step of the journey.
Hear the agonizing cr}- that goes up from some of our
hearts for loved ones that are subjected to the dangers that
are incident to a soldier's life. Bring them back to us in
safety, if it be Thy will, if not, accept the sacrifice which
we make for the world's good. Amen.
SuxDAY, December 23rd, 1917
Almighty Father, let us hear Thee speak to us today,
for the music of Thy voice and the tenderness of Thy
tones bring peace to our listening hearts. We want to
stand in the broad light of a boundless day. We can do
this only through faith in Christ who disperses the clouds
of sadness and intolerable depression that settle down upon
us in a time like this.
While we celebrate the advent of Thy Son, who came
to save us from our sins, let us experience the plentitude
of His redeeming power. Help us to receive Him as the
weary, watching soul receives the light for if we receive
Him thus He will bring to us rest, security and peace.
We hear the call of strange, new duties. ]May we be
prepared for them by the inspiration of rekindled hopes.
^lay there be a rebirth ever}' day in our hearts of the Prince
of Peace, the King of Kings, and may they become the
Bethlehem of His incarnation. Dwell in us, O, Christ,
inspire our service, and make our lives the sphere of Thy
illuminating and redeeming ministr}'. We give ourselves
to Thee to be used as seemeth best to Thee. Send us where
Thou wouldst have us go, give us such prosperity or such
adversity and chastening, as will bring out the best that
is in us; for we will welcome adversit}^ poverty and dis-
appointment if these are necessar}' to establish Thy king-
dom in our hearts.
Pity this smiitten, bleeding world in its distress, restore
peace if it be Thy v;ill to its warring nations, protect and
defend our countn- and our loved ones in the danger that
threatens them. Amen.
Sunday, December 30th, 1917
O God our Father, we have come to the last Sunday of
another year. It has taken us into strange, new experiences,
but amid all Thy goodness has supplied all our needs, and
Thy grace has been richly ministered to us. We have felt
the hand of discipline, but in all we have been able to trace
a Father's love. Thou art training us for new duties and
responsibilities. Thou art equipping us for larger service,
greater firmness in our resistance of temptation, and greater
courage in the dangers and crises of life. We are grateful
to Thee for this fatherly discipline.
Help us to love all men, and give to us those spiritual
graces which will make us strength to the weak, hope to
the despondent, joy to the sorrowing, and power to the
Give us a fresh baptism of Thy spirit with which to
enter upon the New Year which is just before us. We
await the touch of that hand that brings healing to our
diseased spirits, and listen for that voice which allays our
fears and quiets our anxieties. Lord, bless our countr}^ in
the hour of its trial, and help those who direct our govern-
ment to solve with wisdom the problems which confront
them. Protect our army and the armies of our Allies while
they fight for the principles of human liberty. Comfort
the hearts of all who have given sons, husbands, or loved
ones to this great world conflict. Come into the hearts of
our soldiers and dwell there, thus preparing them for any
event of Thy providence. Amen.
Sunday, January 6th, 1918
O God, we know Thou art the God of light, liberty,
love and life, and we ask Thee to illumine our hearts, and
send us forth to the duties of this new day and new year
with the joy of faith, the gladness of obedience welling up
in our hearts, and with a vision of truth and duty that will
equip us for better service.
Thou hast given us the sublime and awful gift of the
freedom of the will. Make us to know the responsibility
that is involved in this endowment. And help us to realize
that our will is ours that we may make it Thine, and may
enter into the highest liberty by becoming
(These are the last words penned by Dr. Byrd, found
on his study desk. He left the task unfinished and has
"entered into the highest liberty.")
SuxDAY, January 13 th, 1918
"Our Father, we so often address our prayers to Thee
feeling that Thou art in some remote place which we call
heaven, but sometimes we realize that Thou art with us
and even in us. Make this realization peculiarly vivid
today as we unite in our accustomed worship. We need
a God that is near at hand and whose ears are always open
to our cr\'.
We are sinners, though we are tr}'ing to trust the merit
of our Divine Saviour, that we may be cleansed from our
sins, consecrated to Thy serv'ice, and endued with great
spiritual power. This is our hope for usefulness here and
for a blessed immortality hereafter. If we know our own
hearts we cannot be satisfied with bare salvation but we
long to rise to heights of usefulness and service that will
bring honor to Thy name, advance the Kingdom of which
we are subjects and the family of God of which we are
Let our hymns of praise and our prayers all have in
them the inspiration of Thy spirit. Make all our worship
today so sincere, simple and fer^^ent that all hearts shall
feel its influence and have upon them an abiding impres-
Awaken the indifferent, bring those who waver to a
decision for Thee, and help us all to hear Thy call to a
deeper and more effective Christian life. Amen!"
(This prayer was written by Dr. Byrd several weeks
ago and laid away to be used at some future time).